Nursing pads are also referred to as breast pads. It is not unusual to forget to add nursing pads to your baby registry before your baby’s arrival, yet they are an absolute necessity. When you start breastfeeding, your boobs will become heavy and may start leaking. Thus, you will need to prevent milk from messing your shirts and tops by getting the best nursing pads for heavy leaking.
Leaking breast milk is not bad rather it is a sign that you are producing more than enough milk for your baby.
While not every nursing mom will experience leaking, the majority of moms do especially during the first few weeks after delivery.
Comparison Table of the best nursing pads for heavy leaking
|Lansinoh stay dry disposable nursing pads||• Highly absorbent
• Adhesive Strips
• Dry and comfortable
|Bamboobies super soft washable nursing pads||• Super soft
• Highly absorbent
• Machine washable
|Contoured Reusable Bamboo Nursing pad||• Contoured pads
|Medela disposable pads||• Ultra-thin
• Highly absorbent
• Keeps you dry
• Double adhesive strips
|Nuk Ultra-Thin disposable pads||• Affordable price
• Lie flat
What causes leaking?
One of the most common causes of leaking is let down, which is caused by the Milk Ejection Reflex. You cannot control this reflex because once the baby starts suckling, nerves in the nipples are triggered and send signals to the brain.
The brain, in turn, responds by releasing 2 hormones; prolactin (responsible for milk production) and oxytocin (responsible for the release of milk).
This letdown reflex can occurs even when you are away from your baby and you think about him or her or when you hear another baby crying. It can also happen when you are at work and your breasts become really full yet you are not in a position to express.
When let down reflex happens, it can really mess up your shirt. It can be a little embarrassing especially when you are in public with a wet spot on your top. This why you should always wear breast pads when you are away from your baby.
It is important that you always carry enough pads with you when traveling so that you can change the pads as often as possible. This is because wearing damp breast pads for too long can cause a yeast infection.
Reviews of the best nursing pads for heavy leaking
1. Lansinoh stay dry disposable nursing pads
They have a quilted honeycomb lining that makes them super soft, breathable, and comfortable against the nipples. This layer also ensures the pads remain dry despite the amount of milk that has leaked on them. This helps to prevent irritation of the nipples especially when they are sore.
In addition, these pads are hardly noticeable when wet thanks to the contoured shape that makes them discreet and comfortable.
Most importantly, you do not have to worry about the pads getting displaced because each pad has two adhesive strips that stick onto the breastfeeding bra to hold them in place.
The breast pads are sealed individually, which is a good thing especially if you are traveling since you do not have to carry the whole pack. They also fold in half; thus, making them easy to place onto the bra. The fold also makes it possible to flip them upside in order to use them completely.
If you are looking for disposable breast pads that are highly absorbent and great for heavy leaking, then get the Lansinoh nursing pads
- Highly absorbent
- Adhesive strips
- Dry and comfortable
- Sealed individually
- Some moms don’t like the adhesive strips
2. Bamboobies super soft washable nursing pads
They are super soft and become even softer after several rounds of washing. This softness ensures that they do not rub against your nipples especially when sore and cause irritation.
These pads are also highly absorbent so they work great at absorbing milk when you are leaking heavily. This is attributed to the absorbent layer of cotton and the outer water-proof lining.
Most importantly, they come in a pack that contains 3 pairs of regular pads for day time use and 1 pair of overnight pads for night use.
A major advantage of washable nursing pads is that they are cost-effective. You save more money in the long run because you do have to keep buying them every month as you do with disposable ones.
In addition, they are made from natural products like bamboo and cotton; hence, they have fewer toxins and are friendlier to the environment.
- Super soft
- Highly absorbent
- Invisible through clothing
- Machine washable
- Do not stay in place
3. Contoured Reusable Bamboo Nursing pads
These money-saving organic breast pads come in a pack of 10 pairs. Five pairs are highly absorbent normal pads while two pairs are for light to medium flow (suitable for daytime) and three pairs for medium to heavy flow (night time).
These pads offer you maximum protection against leaking on your clothing since they are very absorbent.
They are made of organic bamboo material which makes them very soft so they do not irritate your nipples. Bamboo also makes them breathable and this allows them to remain dry even when they absorbed a lot of milk.
Most importantly, they have a leak-proof backing so no matter how heavy you leak; there will be no embarrassing spots on your clothes.
Contoured nursing pads are safe to use with nipple cream of your choice.
When you purchase these pads, each pack comes with a net laundry bag, a cotton carry bag, and an e-book gift.
- Flower-shaped pads contour the shape of the breasts very well
- Heart-shaped pads hardly see-through clothing
- Machine washable
- Tend to move out of place if not well placed (place a piece of sticky tape on them so that they stay in place)
4. Medela disposable pads
They stay in place firmly thanks to the double adhesive strips at the back of each pad. In addition, their thin size makes them discrete under clothing even when full.
These pads also have a waterproof backing helps to prevent breastmilk from leaking on to your bra or clothes. They are also packed individually in plastic bags in a box so you can pack a few when on the go.
- Highly absorbent
- Keeps you dry
- Prevent leakage
- Do not see-through clothing
- Double adhesive strips to stay firmly in place
- Become a little when wet
5. Nuk Ultra-Thin disposable pads
They are made from a soft material that makes them extra soft and breathable. This also prevents the pads from rubbing against your nipples and causing irritation.
These pads have a leak-proof layer that prevents breastmilk from leaking onto your bra and tops. They have a MilkLock technology that is patented to ensure that no other nursing pads can prevent heavy leaking as much as the Nuk pads do.
The pad allows moisture to draw away from your nipple so that you remain dry throughout the day.
Nuks nursing pads are however recommended for breastfeeding moms who have established their milk production.
- Do not show through clothing
- Affordable price
- Lie flat
- They do stay firmly in place since they do not have adhesive strips.
What to look for when buying the best nursing pads for heavy leaking
If you tend to leak heavily, you need to ensure that the nursing pads you want to purchase have anti-leak guards.
Most pads have an outer lining known as an anti-leak guard that prevents breast milk from passing through and leaking onto your shirt. This lining is also referred to as a waterproof backing.
The type of material the pads are made of greatly influences their absorbing capacity, which determines how dry you will be. For instance, bamboo nursing pads tend to be more absorbent than cotton.
In addition, some nursing pads have a plastic lining which is meant to contain leaks. However, the plastic lining retains moisture leaving you feeling wet all. The wetness causes sore nipples and creates a good environment for bacteria and yeast to grow.
Fabric-lined pads are therefore more appropriate at maintaining dryness since they absorb better than plastic.
Disposable pads are definitely more expensive than reusable ones. This is because you use them only once and then dispose off. As much as they minimize your load of laundry and detergents, you end up spending more in the long run since you have to keep buying new pads.
If you are on a budget, reusable pads are more affordable and will serve you for long.
Some nursing pads can be seen through your dress or top while others are discrete. Very thick pads will obviously outline through dresses; hence, you should always go for thin but absorbent pads. Ultra-thin pads feel less bulky even when wet and are more comfortable than thick ones.
You are likely to feel uncomfortable if the nursing pads keep moving out of position even in public. That is why it is important to ensure that the pads have adhesive strips that hold them firmly onto the bra.
Washable pads do not have the adhesive strips but you can improvise by placing a piece of sticky tape on them so that they stay in place.
More on reusable and disposable breast pads
Are nursing pads necessary?
If you are a heavy leaker, nursing pads offer a convenient way to capture the leaking breastmilk and protect your clothing from wetness and stains.
A highly absorbent nursing pad will help to draw moisture away from your nipples; thereby leaving you feeling dry and comfortable. Also, you feel less anxious because you do not have to worry about milk leaking out especially when in public.
What can I use instead of breast pads? (Alternatives)
So it is in the middle of the night and milk is flowing out profusely. You get up to take a breast pad only to realize that your reusable nursing pads box is empty or all the reusable ones are dirty. What do you do?
While you wait for morning to dash off to the store, there are a few alternatives to breast pads that can come in handy.
One is that you can tuck in a folded washcloth under your sleep bra. It might feel bulky but will do the job perfectly.
Another option is to use your regular pads. Cut one in half and tuck under your nursing sleep bra.
Paper towels or napkins might also work if you are not leaking too much.
How many breast pads do you need?
The number of nursing pads to you need depends on your level of leaking and whether you are using disposable or reusable nursing pads.
If you are a heavy leaker, you may use about 4-5 pads in a day. So a box of 60 pads may last you for about 2 weeks. But if you are a light leaker, you can use about 2-3 pads in a day and a pack of 60 can go for as long as 1 month.
You will need to replace disposable nursing pads whenever you run out. On the other hand, reusable pads can be reused for about 3-4 months before they start to wear and tear or lose absorbency.
When it comes to choosing the best nursing pads for heavy leaking, absorbency is key. Often times, you will hear nursing mums arguing about which breast pads are more absorbent between disposable vs reusable. I believe you can never find a conclusive answer to this because both types of pads work differently for different mothers. What might work for one mom may not necessarily work for another due to differences in the level of leakage. Nonetheless, a lot of positive reviews have been given for the 5 nursing pads we have reviewed in this article, and especially the Lansinoh stay dry and Bamboobies super soft pads.